There are two types of protective factors involved in resilience: the rugged qualities that reside
within all of us, and the resources that support us.
The Standard Manual for Populations In Need of Human Services contains a series of modules, one for each of the 16
protective factors (eight rugged qualities and eight resources) found to be most important for front-line staff and clients.
1. Decision Making – the ability to consider different options, evaluate those
options, and pick a course of action to follow. Good decision-making skills help
people adapt to changing circumstances and control their reactions.
2. Goal Setting – to carry out actions with a purpose in mind. Setting goals that
match our motivations gives us a sense of purpose.
3. Meaning-Making/Spirituality – to make our life purposeful. Meaning-making
is defined as recognizing the significance or purpose of our lives, while spirituality
refers to finding meaning in someone or something that is beyond ourselves.
4. Perseverance & Motivation – the ability to continue behaving in ways that
benefit us during difficult times. Motivation and perseverance mean getting back
up after failing and continuing to try in the face of challenges.
5. Optimism/Hope – the ability to focus on the positive and know that good
things can happen. Optimists have faith that they can tackle their problems and
that they are in control.
6. Problem Solving – the ability to consider many different potential solutions to a
problem and choose the best one. Problem-solving is a necessary component of
conflict resolution and constructively coping with adversity.
7. Self-Efficacy – our belief in our ability to succeed in the face of challenges. With
high self-efficacy, we know that we can solve our problems given enough time
8. Self-Esteem/Self-Confidence – the ability to see ourselves as people who
are worthy and capable. Self-efficacy and self-confidence are both qualities that
we hold when we value and like ourselves, especially when faced with tasks that
must get done.
1. Social Support – beginning and maintaining relationships with
supportive peers. Peers, whether neighbors, friends or colleagues at work, offer
companionship and a sense of connection, as well as social support during
2. Access to Mental and Physical Health Care – the extent to which people can
get adequate services in a timely manner. Access to quality mental and physical
health care improves our wellbeing, which makes us better able to manage
stressful life events.
3. Education/Training – developing new knowledge or skills. Education and
training can offer us opportunities to find likeminded people and contribute to our
4. Housing – safe, supportive homes and neighbourhoods provide us with some
of the resources we need to avoid mental and physical health problems. The more
control we feel we have over our homes and the more connected we feel to the
community, the more secure we feel as well.
5. Physical Safety/Public Security – feeling safe and secure depends on both
how others treat us as well as how we see the world, what we value, and how
we behave. Physical safety and public security are important for our sense of
6. Opportunities to Use One’s Talents – knowing our strengths allows us to
understand the things we excel at and use our skills to contribute to the wellbeing
of others. Talents are things we can do well, with a high likelihood that we will
7. Community Resilience – having positive relationships with others helps us feel
like we belong in our community and increases our selfefficacy. Our social capital is the
network of relationships that we build over time that is available when we need help
dealing with a crisis.
8. Transportation – the private or public movement of people or things from one
place to another. When we have access to efficient and reliable transportation, it’s
easier for us to access the resources we need to live a happy and healthy life.
Each module contains key learning objectives, a summary of the science and case studies, as well as activities that can be used to help clients build resilience.